Webster Quote

Webster Quote

Friday, October 20, 2017

Could the Market Crash of 1987 Happen Again?


Quickly --

Thirty years ago, the stock market crashed.  People were terrified.  Could it happen again?

Today's CNBC commentators weigh in: 


1987 Market Crash: Could It Happen Again?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

It Is a Deep and Important Time...

...in America now.  With all that is at stake I am forced to spend extra time researching.  While this research (and my musical life) goes on, I will continue to post here as much as possible.  At the same time, I encourage you to visit my sister blogs as you will find more detailed information in those locations.  (Please see left sidebar.)  

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Profit System is (Literally) Killing Us

The profit system is literally, if indirectly, killing us.  I think I can show that quite quickly. Today's New York Times in an editorial entitled "The Gun Carnage, as Time Goes By," describes what has gone on in the gun industry.  According to the Times, referencing a Harvard and Northeastern Universities study. says that three percent of American adults own half the nation's guns -- an astonishing 17 guns per person!  The newspaper further states that as fewer Americans have bought guns in recent years, the gun makers have marketed more and more guns to fewer individuals.

Just what is going on here?  We know more guns are being sold to fewer individuals.  Perhaps we may wishfully imagine that there is no net increase in guns.  At any rate, a huge number of guns are going into the hands of individuals. Seventeen guns per person?  And we know that being a profit-making industry, gun manufacturers have a motive for selling more guns.  Again, at best we can fantasize that through proper education and training of gun-buyers this might not be a problem.  But it is a problem.  Why?

First, there are in fact persons of evil intent loose in the land.  Second, there are more guns.  This alone is a recipe for disaster.  But the hidden contributor is an economic system which encourages such a situation.  How? -- by never calling gun manufacturers to account.  The charters for the gun-making companies go on forever, even out-lasting the lives of mortal human beings.  Thus does the corporation get the upper hand politically.

This combination of factors explains in essence what is going on.  Of course it doesn't explain the existence of evil.  That I leave for now to the philosophers and theologians.  But any society which allows such a situation to exist can hardly be called civilized.  

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Journalist Elucidates the Continuing State of Emergency (But probably not the one you are thinking of)

 Below is an excerpt from an interview with journalist Masha Gessen on the program Democracy Now, recently.  I find Ms. Gessen's views overall excellent, compelling.  My only disagreement is her repeated contention that the American people elected Trump.  This is fallacious, as I have repeatedly reported here for now nearly a year.  It is a critical error -- one which does not make her other arguments incorrect, but rather significantly incomplete.  

Here is the excerpt. 


Gessen:  My argument is basically that our Reichstag fire—and the Reichstag fire, as I’m sure you know, is, in 1934, the Reichstag, the parliament building in Berlin, burned, and Hitler, who had just recently been appointed chancellor, used it as a pretext for restricting political freedoms in really profound ways, in ways that—to create a state of exception, what his favorite legal theorist, Carl Schmitt, called a state of exception, which is when the sovereign claims extraordinary power.
Well, I think that that has all happened in this country, and it happened in the wake of September 11th. The state of emergency that went into effect three days after September 11th has never been lifted. It was renewed by President Obama every September for seven years of his presidency, the seven Septembers that he was president. We continue to be in the state of emergency. The War Powers Act passed with one dissenting vote three days after September 11th, continues to be in effect and has been used by President Obama and now by President Trump. And there’s also been a 16-year run of concentrating—increasing concentration of power in the executive branch—under George W. Bush, basically, in the interest of shoring up more military and surveillance power; under President Obama, for some of the same and some other reasons, having to do with a Congress that was intent on paralyzing him. But basically, I think that chain of events did a lot to create the possibility of Trump, to create the very possibility of a politician who could run for autocrat in this country and get elected.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Civil Rights Groups Sue to Stop Crosscheck Program

 via Election 101 --

Read how groups in Indiana are trying to stop vote suppression in Indiana!





https://electiontruth101.blogspot.com/


Graphic Courtesy The Black Commentator   

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

The Las Vegas Massacre

I, along with the whole country, am heart-broken over the mass killings in Las Vegas this past week-end.  It is long past time for an honest discussion on weapons in the hands of lone rangers.  We can and must do better.  The urgency of this matter can hardly be over-estimated.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Sunday Opinion Highlights



A couple of opinion pieces really grabbed me this past week-end.  The first is linked-to below.  Hugh Hefner was certainly no one to hold up as a paragon of virtue.  In many countries he simply wouldn't have been able to do all he did.  I support America's approach to freedom, and Mr. Hefner was certainly free to live a promiscuous life if he saw fit.  But to advance this modality in public shows not only Hefner's depravity, but that of American culture.

Just to show how complex this is, though, his publishing depicted a part of American reality.  As such, it should not have been, and, indeed, could not have been shut down.

So where does this leave us?  No one is completely evil.  Even the Devil himself was once an angel in heaven, we are told.  And even Evil Incarnated can only exist because it serves the purpose of the Divine.  Or so traditional Judeo-Christian theology tells us.

The evil in the case of Mr. Hefner was his treatment of women -- a subject which has become increasingly dear to my heart.  The objectification of women -- to dignify the matter with an elevated term -- served to demean them.  And America needed no encouragement of this kind, as a body of history is now showing.

The second matter is that of the protests of NFL players.  This is a more complicated matter than that of women's rights.  And yet, when we are talking about Civil Rights, and equality of the races, the answer should be clear -- people have the right, even the duty to protest.  Whether kneeling for the National Anthem (which was made so by Congress only in 1931), is the right way to protest can be debated.  But it is not for OML* to use the remaining prestige of his office to demean and badger the protestors.  People are free to pay to see, or not;  to watch on TV or not.  At any rate, as one writer said, when a view is held by the majority, protest is rarely needed.  We must vigorously support the right of everyone to peaceably protest.

----------

(I am looking for the article by the NFL player who wrote about the matter this past Sunday.  Eventually, I'm sure I will find it.)

Hugh Hefner Undeserving of Praise

*Our Military Leader

Friday, September 29, 2017

Retrospective: Hillary Clinton "Mirrors" Ad

Amidst all the hub-bub of last year's fall campaign, certain messages got lost, and are now almost forgotten.  Now is as good a time as any to re-visit some of the issues which the vote-winner held up as a mirror for us to see ourselves as we really are.

Let us remember women's rights and needs.  



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Stopping a Projected Computerized "Apocalypse"



Despite the, well, apocalyptic title of the article, The Atlantic magazine presents a well-written piece on the dangers of the usual way of programming computers.  The author in presenting the views of visionary thinkers, offers a way to prevent catastrophe.

Very helpful.  A must-read for anyone interested in the future.


Changing How Computers Are Coded

Friday, September 22, 2017

Breaking Today:

Sen. John McCain Signals Death Knell for Obamacare Repeal


This is good news indeed, assuming the other Senators which have expressed doubts about the Graham-Cassidy bill hold fast.

I'm not sure this will be the end of Republican efforts to kill the Affordable Care Act which has so benefited Americans.  But this latest effort is clearly in deep trouble.


Quick Link --

McCain Signals Death to Health Care Law Repeal

OF INTEREST

 For your pleasure, the first Telstar broadcast from America to Europe -- 1962

This exciting, moving broadcast was sent from New York to Europe in July 1962.  Some of us were too young to have seen it, or not even born yet.  This particular version includes a lengthy introduction by a former broadcaster in South Dakota.  If you would like to skip through, the 1962 broadcast begins some 15-20 minutes into the vlog. 



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New York Times Writer Urges Open Carry Ban

Photo Reuters via New York Times
The writer of the article at the below link writes clearly about the history of banning the open carrying of weapons here and abroad.  It shows why the Second Amendment does not apply to armed gangs at rallies, such as was seen in Charlottesville, Virginia last month.  It is one of the finest pieces of writing on the subject of open carry I have ever seen.

Highly recommended, indeed.


Ban Open Carry, Says New York Times Writer

Monday, September 18, 2017

Strengthening Constitutional Democracy

More Evidence the Profit System Is On the Way Out

An interesting and important article by a professor at Vanderbilt University Law School in yesterday's New York Times, shows how today's rising inequality was not foreseen by our Constitution.  Although at least one founding father did foresee a time when disparity between economic classes would grow, the Convention rejected plans to center the government around a class-based Congress, a la Europe.

The author, Ganesh Sitaraman, calls on wise patriots of today to help guide our country to a more equitable nation.  

 "...in order to form a more perfect union..."  

A must-read:  

Our Constitution Wasn't Build for This

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Houston Flooding Tells Us: Time for the Profit System to Go

Below is a major excerpt from an interview with Fred Magdoff, co-author of Creating an Ecological Society:  Toward a Revolutionary Transformation, with Chris Williams;   and What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism, with John Bellamy Foster.  

The flooded landscape of 21st century capitalism

Fred Magdoff is co-author of Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation, with Chris Williams, and What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know about Capitalism, with John Bellamy Foster. He talked to Michael Ware about the causes of the catastrophe that has struck Houston and the Gulf Coast--and what it will take to prevent similar tragedies in the future.
Downtown Houston is inundated after Hurricane Harvey
IS THERE reason to believe that global warming made Hurricane Harvey more intense than it would have been?
YES, ABSOLUTELY. The oceans are warmer, and the Gulf of Mexico in particular has warmed significantly--this year is the warmest of all.

The warmer the water, the more easily water can evaporate, and a warmer atmosphere can hold more water, so you have that aspect as well. Storms in general have been getting more intense--not just this particularly intense storm.

There's another factor as well: The poles are warming faster than the middle of the earth, causing less of a gradient between the temperatures in both places. This affects the atmospheric transfer--that is, the jet streams. One of the predicted effects of this is that weather patterns will slow down--things won't move as fast as they normally would.

This is one of the factors that made Harvey so devastating: it stuck around. It moved a little bit, but in a circle, and it made landfall again and again. I wouldn't be surprised if this is part of the reason why it stayed so long before it started moving out toward the Northeast. That's also an effect of human activity and global warming.

But the major factor is that there's more evaporation from the large bodies of water, the atmosphere holds more water, and we have more intense storms in general.

HOW DID capitalist development in Houston make the effects of the storm even worse? Also, there are more than 1,000 people dead in in South Asia--why are the floods like those in Bangladesh, India and Nepal also more deadly?
I CAN'T speak as much to the impact in Asia or the specifics of the geography as I can about Houston. But this was also the result of a monsoon, with a similar phenomenon of intense rainfall. Bangladesh is also affected by rising sea levels, but the disaster is also affecting northern Bangladesh, away from the coast.

As for Houston--and it's not just Houston, but the surrounding area in Texas, all the way up the coast toward Louisiana--there has been incredible development, with the construction of roads and shopping malls and industries and houses.

This building is taking place on what, in the past, was substantial open land, some of it grassland and prairie, which is incredibly absorbent of water. What's happened is a significant portion of this open land has been paved over or covered over or otherwise made impermeable.

In Houston itself, there is essentially no zoning whatsoever, so people can do what they want, wherever they want. It's designed to cause a disaster. If you wanted to make the effects of a natural disaster worse, this is how you would go about doing it.

This is one of the underlying issues with regard to capitalism: the real estate interests are so powerful. And that isn't just a Houston issue either--it happens in other places. In the book Creating an Ecological Society that I wrote with Chris Williams, we have a section on unnatural natural disasters, where we talk about something very similar that had happened last year in Louisiana. We quote a professor at length saying that this area never should have been developed.

Anyone who was looking at the question dispassionately would have known this, but the real estate interests convinced governments to allow it to happen anyway. The real estate interests are quite powerful all over the country, and they exert a lot of power at the local, state and regional levels.
So you have an area that's prone to flooding, and one of the means that this was dealt with in the past--the percolation of water into soil and the slow release from the groundwater to the bayous--has been eliminated.

Once you eliminate 30 to 40 percent of the land that once served that function, every storm immediately becomes worse. There was major flooding in Houston last year--they called it the Tax Day flood because it came on April 18, when taxes were due. The year before, it happened on Memorial Day.

So flooding in Houston is not an unusual issue. This, of course, was an unusual storm. It's referred to as a 1,000-year storm, meaning it's a storm that will happen, on average, only once every 1,000 years--or it's actually more accurate to say that in any given year, there's a a 0.1 percent chance of a storm this severe taking place. And in 2016 and 2015, there were 500-year storms.
That's my take. You have capitalism affecting the climate through global warming and affecting the built environment through real estate development, both of which make a whole region more vulnerable to flooding.

AND NOT only did this development turn Houston into a kind of bathtub without a large enough drain, but there wasn't really a plan in place to deal with the flooding--even after the previous flooding in Houston or the disasters following Sandy and Katrina. So what do we have to do differently in the future to both protect people and provide relief immediately when these disasters happen?
THERE'S A lot more that can be done than is being done. But some of it is being done, carried out by regular folks. Disasters like this generally bring out the best in people. There are a lot of volunteers helping to rescue people or feed people in the various shelters that they have set up. Charities and Texas state and Houston employees are helping. And the federal government will help some through FEMA.

But they're saying that 100,000 homes in Houston that have been flooded. I have no idea whether that's accurate. And that's just Houston--there are many other locations around Houston and all the way up the coast to the northeast that have been flooded as well, and very few residents have flood insurance.

If you live in what is classified as a 100-year flood zone, you are required to have flood insurance in order to get a mortgage, that is. But the problem is that the flooded areas aren't only in the 100-year flood zones, but the 500- or 1,000-year flood zones as well.

So probably 80 percent or more of the homes that have been severely affected don't have any flood insurance. Those homeowners will only get modest help through FEMA--nowhere near what they need to rebuild or to renovate. And I expect that many of the homes that the news footage showed to be deeply flooded will be beyond renovation.

This is a human tragedy--not just for the homeowners, but for renters as well. Where do they go? Who provides them with reasonable housing? That could be accomplished by a government which has, as one of its main purposes, serving the people. You see empathy and caring and help at the personal level, but you don't see it at the governmental level to anywhere near the extent needed.

DID GOVERNMENT administrators in Houston know this disaster could happen, but didn't do anything about it because of the cost or pressure from real estate interests?
THE IMPORTANT thing to remember is that this disaster didn't start last week--it happened over decades. That's the real problem.

Last December, there was an article about Houston published by ProPublica and the Texas Tribune called "Boomtown, Floodtown." They document, going back to the 1930s, how flooding has taken place in Houston as a byproduct of development.

So obviously, they knew last year that disasters of this large magnitude could happen, but it's hard to say what could have been done at that point to stop it, because the solution would have to be long-term planning going back decades--not having such a large city, with the areas surrounding it built up to such an extent that so capacity for absorbing so much rainfall was lost.

You can say that the city could have come up with an evacuation plan and put that in place. But we're talking about millions of people to evacuate, so it's not easy to do. But beyond that, what could have been done is decades in the past. Flooding took place this year, last year and the year before. Who's to say it isn't going to happen again this year or next year?

AND THE problem with that is that there 840 petrochemical refining and power plants in the Texas-Louisiana border region. Why are these facilities so concentrated there? Why are so many nuclear power plants--like Fukushima in Japan, which was hit by the tsunami--located near rivers or seacoasts? How does this impact drinking water or marine life?
FIRST OF all, nuclear power plants need to be near water because they need a mechanism for cooling the reactor. In the case of Fukushima, the water came out of the sea and went back to it after cooling the plant. Every nuclear power plant needs this, as do plants that run on coal, because they depend on water being turned to steam.

So water is a part of the system--one that can become very difficult to manage. Nuclear power plants in particular need to be built near large sources of water if they are to be at all economical--which, of course, they aren't, but that's a whole other story.

Fukushima was a disaster waiting to happen. There are old stone carvings, dating back hundreds of years, above the zone that the tsunami reached which say: "Don't build below this zone because tsunamis can happen here."

So it's not like the owners of these businesses didn't know a disaster like that could happen. But they figured: "What are the odds?" I'm sure the executives who planned Fukushima didn't expect this to happen. But the fact is they were building in a zone where tsunamis had swamped the whole area previously.

Why the concentration of petrochemical plants in the Mississippi River area, along the Louisiana and Texas coast? That has to do with where oil has come from historically and how shipping takes place. These plants are located near the source of oil, at least originally, and with access to the means to transport petroleum products, both within the U.S. or overseas.

From a narrow economic point of view, that makes sense. And I'm sure these companies have insurance for flood damage, even though many of the residents in the surrounding areas didn't.
I'm also sure the petrochemical companies have taken some mitigating measures to limit damage. For example, drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have been raised--they used to be 40 feet above sea level, and now they're closer to 70 or 90 feet above sea level. So the industry knows there's a problem, and it's trying to limit the damage.

But when these chemical plants get inundated, who knows what goes into the water? We know a tremendous amount of toxic material has polluted the water--and also the air, as a result of fires at places like the Arkema plant near Houston, when the power went out to refrigeration systems that were there to cool reactive chemicals.

There were backup generators, but the backup generators flooded, so some of the storage tanks exploded. These aren't major explosions, but the fires and the gases fueling them are quite noxious.
These things are going to happen when you build a plant like that in a zone where floods are possible. But it wasn't planned for. They had backup generators in the event of a power failure, but they didn't have another mechanism if those failed.

***************

Read more at:
(The SocialistWorker.org)

Friday, September 08, 2017

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

Coming up on my schedule is a second viewing of the Greg Palast film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

As regular readers here know, the subject of voter suppression has been a concentration of mine ever since the election last fall, an election in which the announced winner was not the person who received the most votes.

What does this say about are supposed democracy?   

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Historian Tells The Truth About Our Military Leader

Quick Link --

Tonight I am reading the referenced article (see below) from May of this year.  Although events have seemingly weakened Our Military Leader (OML) since then, the fascist tendencies shown then and now make the possibility of a coup against democracy seem real.  The historian here also deals with why it is so hard for Americans to recognize the possibility of fascism in America.

Events in Charlottesville and elsewhere have made it clearer to Americans that such a movement is very real now.  As people get clearer the chance of meaningfully opposing OML grows.

Fascinating and Useful:
From May 2017: How Trump Could Stage a Coup

Friday, September 01, 2017

Harvey Alters Political Landscape

It seems rather seedy to rejoice over the fact that a dangerous tropical storm could shift political winds in Washington.  But this is indeed what has happened, according to The New York Times today.

And perhaps rather than being seedy, one can mourn the losses in Texas and still see a silver lining in the clouds hanging over the land.

No matter the context, Republicans in Washington are suddenly sailing under a different banner, one of compassion and open-pocketbooks for Texans.  This has already affected projected spending for the border wall, as well as plans for a threatened government shut-down.

Be safe Texas.  We will stand with you no matter what. 

Political Winds Shift With Harvey



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Cascading Events

Resuming  (See below)


Newsworthy items I am watching now


  • Hurricane Harvey
  • The Arpaio pardon
  • China seeks political foothold in Greece

Please come back for more on stories like these soon.

As someone once said,  "Keep the faith, baby!"




Resuming:  I have been out of state this past week tending to personal business and am now resuming by duties here.  Thank you for your patience

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Kochan Empire

Things go worse with Koch


Book Review


D ear Friend,

Things are going swimmingly with Dark Money and me.  To say this book is a block-buster hardly does it justice.  It is dynamic, well-researched, with critically important information.

The author is Jane Mayer.


Highly recommended.



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Dark Money -- The Secret to Understanding American Politics


Jane Mayer, author

Rush Post --

I have just become aware of a 2016 book treating the rise of huge amounts of "dark money," hitting the political wheels.  Please help me review the review!


A most promising premise:
Book Discussion with Author: Dark Money

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Former Pres. Clinton Advisor Calls Current Occupant Mentally Ill

Quickly --

A former advisor to Bill Clinton who had a one-hour meeting with him has named Our Military Leader "mentally ill."


Bill Curry further states the media is guilty of gross malpractice.  More below:



Media Called Out for Inattention. Incompetence

Friday, August 11, 2017

Lying Can Be Attractive...

...for both speaker and audience




The American citizenry continues to endure a seemingly unremitting barrage of untruths, partial truths, and outright lies from the White House and the current executive of the Oval Office -- Our Military Leader (OML).

The article referenced below gives a certain explanation of the cause of the lying and its attraction for listeners in America.  It is a sad thing to think that Americans have become so used to dissembling from its politicians, that one who seems to do it with particular boldness, regularity and panache, is actually appreciated for his non-honest "candor."


Lying Can Be Attractive

Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.

–Abraham Lincoln
We are told that Our Military Leader does not read books.  There are ever so many quotes about books that would apply here.  But the one above is better than most.  

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Keeping in Touch on a Summer Afternoon

In parts of Latin America and Africa, winter grinds on.  But here in the upper regions of the globe summer continues full throttle, casting its glowing sunshine into and through the trees, round and about the watery regions, and down into crevices and basements everywhere.  At such a time, it is tempting to cast aside all cares, including concerns about country and world.  And yet events of a certain kind continue and there is need for continued watchfulness in Washington and elsewhere.

People I talk with -- average citizens -- are learning to tune-out things relating to that important capitol.  This is not to say I completely approve of this practice.  Yet, it is a justifiably self-preserving reaction to something approaching insanity, and certainly chaos, in the White House.

However, as I have indicated there is a place for continual concern.  Fortunately, certain people in D.C. are responsible enough and experienced enough to keep the machinery of government running with or without a certain kind of direct approval from high places.  Thus, it seems the government is yet safe, even if only on a day-to-day and almost ad hoc basis.  To this extent, we can be grateful.   

Friday, August 04, 2017

Book Review: Rule and Ruin

(A work in progress)

I can hardly recommend the book Rule and Ruin by Kabaservice highly enough.  Now half-way through the book, I am learning about the second year of the Nixon Presidency, including his pivot toward catering more to the Southern conservatives.  The book reads almost like a good detective story.

Obviously Mr. Kabaservice has indeed investigated thoroughly his subject -- the rise of the radical right within the Republican Party from Eisenhower to the tea party movement.  It is a story of intrigue and convenience, of ambition blind and otherwise, and a tale -- we are promised -- of ruin.

Highly recommended

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

"Game of Thrones" + "House of Cards" = "Game of Cards"

Watching the melodrama which is today's White House may be fun for some members of the media -- and this has even been admitted by a couple -- but as far as Americans are concerned this is no game.

Robert Reich reports here:

Republicans Abandoning Trump in Favor of Pence: Report

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Worst Is Yet to Come

-- Eugene Robinson




There is a difference, dear reader, between cynicism and prudent realism.  And the thing for the prudent realist now is to prepare for what is yet to be in the on-going saga of Our Military Leader (OML).*   

Today's Eugene Robinson column in The Washington Post gives numerous examples of an escalating crisis surrounding OML's White House.  The leader who was installed in that vaunted mansion by wealthy ideologues and libertarian sychopants (I shall not hold back today), descends ever deeper into his own reality, one based essentially on his own welfare.

It is understandable and permissible to want to defend oneself.  But just as there is a difference between cynicism and realism, there is a difference between self-preservation, and making war on a large part of the rest of the world.

Perhaps it is time for the rest of us to build the intellectual equivalent of a nuclear bomb shelter. 


Eugene Robinson on What Is Yet to Be



*a.k.a. Trump  

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

GOP Voter Suppression Effort Now on Steroids

The video below contains new information, not available before, tying voter suppression efforts to a new Presidential so-called commission on voter fraud.  And -- names have been shared with this commission, maybe yours.

A must-see



Friday, July 21, 2017

Super Password Theme Lights Up the Summer Night

From the NBC TV Show --  

Super Password - Opening - On-Air Edit Theme Song - TelevisionTunes.com

Back to Our Musical Roots

A summertime light treat for the ears and mind --

Super Password - Opening - On-Air Edit Theme Song - TelevisionTunes.com

Keith Olbermann Delineates Media Obligation

Commentator Keith Olbermann makes clear in a recent video exactly what the media must and must not do now that Our Military Leader has essentially declared war on the press. 

I believe that the current Oval Office Occupant will ultimately fail in his attempt to belittle, sideline, and vitiate the media.  What Mr. Oblermann perhaps does not see clearly enough is the fact that media persons in this country are often employed by mega-corporations not altogeter displeased with the Trumpian approach to making big money in America.

Still, we can all support Mr. Olbermann's keen observations. 


What Media Should Do Now

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Actor Robert Clary: Lest We Forget

Video Special

Well-known actor Robert Clary gives a human face to the victimization of the Jews under Hitler.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Note to Dedicated Readers and Others

The original plan for this web log did not include dealing on a regular basis with what amounts to governmental insanity, although the various illegitimate elections of G. W. Bush were certainly on the side of unreason.  So the situation which confronts us today requires a deeper looking at things.  Sometimes this may take more time to research and present.  I imagine other writers across the media spectrum have felt something similar. 

Those of us without a psychology degree end up flying somewhat by the seat of our pants as we try to analyze and fathom what to many appears unfathomable, a man without the aegis of a verifiable election result who is yet our Military Leader and has meetings and takes telephone calls in the White House, and is even called "Mr. President" by various unwitting world leaders.

But the lack of professional jargon of the mind may be a blessing in disguise, as your grandmothers used to put it.  For isn't there value in simply calling a falsehood a lie, and then acting appropriately upon that knowledge?  The problem, of course, is that an even bigger lie has been accepted -- that somehow a person who lost by over two million votes, and then has been shown to be the beneficiary of major voter suppression efforts* in enough states to affect the outcome -- that this person should somehow be taken as real, legitimate, qualified, and worthy of presidential-level respect.

So we have a Never-never Land fiasco unfolding on a daily basis.  And yet, oddly, there is more reason for hope than ever, we sense.  While Washington is tangled in a mess, the citizens are moving ahead with their lives doing their best with the everyday challenges which are part and parcel of a harried existence. 

For one thing, the young are very aware.  And they care.  Some are even taking action.  Older people such as members of the Code Pink movement are active.  Former coal miners in Kentucky sigh as they realize they may have been victims of a hoax.

So America goes on in these sultry days of the second half of July.  Creatures, both human and others, wait a freshening rain, yea, a deluge of truth and justice.  May this happen in a near time. 




*See the work of Greg Palast

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

America Aghast

The country is aghast at the implications of the Donald Trump, Jr., meetings with a Russian attorney.  While there is much that is unknown, what is already known is alarming conservatives as well as those of every political stripe.

Time precludes a fuller discussion here now.  But, the recent filing of an impeachment article against Our Military Leader in the House of Representatives may be an indication of the direction things are moving in. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Truth About Election Fraud?

Yesterday the headline to the lead editorial in The New York Times caught my eye.  I was excited to read that I was going to be treated to the "real" election fraud of 2016.  I thought, "Finally The Times has discovered the nine methods of voter suppression tactics used by Republicans last year as originally reported by well-known investigative writer, Greg Palast, and broadcast by Joy Reid on MSNBC.  

Alas, I was to be sadly disappointed, as the article simply told about the dangers of Russian hacking. Certainly, Russian operatives did hack both the Democratic National Committee and its Republican counterpart.  But I have seen no evidence that said Russian persons or their henchmen penetrated any of our states' electronic voting systems.   I await any countervailing proof.

In a separate post I hope to write about some of the reasons why I think it is so hard for Americans to believe their election could have been compromised by Americans.  But for now, it seems fairly obvious why it could have happened:  There are plenty of very wealthy people who had the motive, since the Republican Party has reliably offered tax reduction for the wealthy.  This matter of motive is not so hard to believe.  Much more can be said.

I ask and invite you to help spread the word about the Republican theft of Election 2016.  Refer people to the Greg Palast web site.  Refer them here.  The facts are available and discoverable.

So let the discovery begin.   

Friday, July 07, 2017

States Refuse to Cooperate with OML's Voter Intimidation "Commission"

Forty-four states are refusing to hand over data requested by the Executive's so-called commission on voting integrity.  This panel, appointed by Our Military Leader (OML), seeks to harass states and voters with requests for personal Social Security numbers and Driver's Licenses to no good purpose.  Numerous studies have shown there was absolutely no wide-spread voter fraud last year.

What we did have were organized, criminal voter suppression tactics with race-based real-world results.  

This current "commission," headed by Kobach, the nation's most visible vote suppression guru, is an outrageous waste of time and tax-payer money.  It may also prove criminal in effect. 


States Refuse to Cooperate with OML's Voter Intimidation "Commission"

Media Continue to Normalize OML to Our Nation's Detriment

Briefly but importantly --

Most news media in America continue to normalize Our Military Leader (OML).  Every day which goes by on which OML is treated as being legitimate, is a day longer before sanity returns to the citadels of American leadership.

It is hard to see how things will turn out in the end.  We can trust that in the end all will be well.  But that may be an assumption without many facts at this point.  And yet hope we must.  For the alternative is unthinkable. 

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Jimmy Carter and Bernie Sanders Stand Fast for Human Rights

In a time when human rights are under attack at home and abroad Former President Jimmy Carter and Sen. Sanders stand firm.   



Former President Carter Shakes Hands on Plane

via ABC News --

The ever-gracious Jimmy Carter greets passengers on plane.

I'll have more video later.


iframe src='http://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=47972208' width='640'


There is no date on this video.   

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Rule and Ruin of the G.O.P.

Eleven years ago in the first summer of this blog, I featured numerous posts about the book I was reading then, called Theologians Under Hitler.  I fondly remember reading it in a front-yard swing at my parents' summer home.  Memories of intellectual stimulation and enlightenment through that book are still with me.

It appears that this summer's book is becoming Rule and Ruin by Geoffrey Kabaservice.  The somewhat long subtitle is, "The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, from Eisenhower to the Tea Party."

Only a short way into the book, I am enormously impressed with both the focus and execution of the tome.  It tells a forgotten history of an ideologically mixed party, which in fact was essentially a fairly moderate party, conservative on fiscal matters, progressive on Civil Rights.  Always there was within the party, of course, a right-wing.  But not until the 1950's and Senator Joseph McCarthy paving the way did so-called movement conservatism gain traction.

The full story is amply and well-told in this volume by Kabaservice.  His warning is extremely valuable as we now find ourselves in the position of so many other countries with two parties, almost exclusive of each other ideologically, and locked in something akin to mortal combat.

Yet this has not been America's history until quite recently.  It is this division which directors of America's intelligence services are warning about.  The United States, they advise us, is now threatened not only from without but within.  This is a problem of the gravest national urgency and must be addressed with thoughtful and concrete actions -- and without delay.   

N.B. for photo and graphic aficionados:  the shadowing and fading of the above picture of the book cover is part of the original design of the cover.  Actual print on the book cover is essentially quite clear.   

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

An Indirect Reference to the Stolen Election of 2016

Although not direct evidence, of course, the fact that a majority of Wisconsin voters now disapprove of Our Military Leader (OML) is an indication that something is amiss in Wisconsin.

Americans are indeed disturbed by Our Military Leader.  Yet where is the press when it comes to reporting on the nine methods of voter suppression used by Republicans and their henchmen last year?

Nevertheless, truth keeps seeping through.  The referenced article shows this.  


Majority of Wisconsin Voters Disapprove of OML Performance

Bankers Said to Be Behind Puerto Rico Crisis

 The commonwealth’s financial woes didn’t happen by accident—they were the result of decades of public immiseration and private gain.


It is clear from the article at the link below that Puerto Rico's current misery didn't happen by accident.   As usual with situations of this kind, the profit motive has been alive and well in our island "nation" to the south.   

We must remember that the profit system is of real flesh and blood people.  These people make decisions to benefit themselves, often regardless of the needs of other people.   All too often the result is suffering and even tragedy.  

It doesn't have to be.



Bankers Behind Puerto Rico Crisis

Friday, June 23, 2017

On This Date In History -- New Feature

On This Date in History...

President Lyndon Johnson met with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin at Glassboro, New Jersey, in an effort to diffuse tensions in the Cold War.  Results were less than satisfactory, however, as Viet Nam and other issues continued to divide the two great nations.  

Certainly the hope was that one day Russia, or the Soviet Union, would be partners in peace around the world.  Fifty years later, the Soviet Union is no more, but a former member of the KGB, and now leader of a resurgent Russia, seeks to create a network of alliances and influence to counter perceived threats from the West.

Whatever the ills of Russia, and there are many, the world must find a means to mutual respect so the people of the world can be safe.   

A recurring feature of The Musical Patriot


Source:   History Channel


Left to right:  Aleksei Kosygin, Lyndon Johnson
courtesy Wikimedia

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Georgia Sixth District Election Post Mortem

New Video Link for Today

The link below should take you to a video excerpt from MSNBC's "Morning Joy" program with investigative reporter, Greg Palast.  This report documents the throwing of legal voters off the voting rolls in Georgia.  

To be fair, I do not hear the numbers in this report which of themselves would have swung this election to the Republican.  On the other hand, the investigation of dirty deeds in Georgia has really only just begun.  And, by the way, the person who initiated the purge efforts in Georgia just won the latest election for U.S. Representative from Georgia. 

May truth win out, and in a near time.  

http://www.gregpalast.com/palast-msnbc-joy-voter-suppression-accusations-gop-persist/

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Panoply of Subjects

Still Here
Nature watches and waits.


If reading is an adventure, I have been on something of a trip these last weeks.  Subjects have run the gamut from the rise of medical consumerism to the loss of Internet privacy, and back to a rare disorder called something like Canavan disease.

Particularly interesting was the work of a futurist who around 2000 predicted the decline and fall of the American "empire."  I'll have more on this subject soon.

For now, June is busting out all over, as they say, with unusually high temperatures accompanied by cheerily warbling birds (and a desultory standing crane).

With June has come the 45th anniversary of the Watergate break-in with new and stunning revelations of a Nixon administration attempt to do physical harm to Daniel Ellsberg.

This has lead to inevitable comparisons with today's scene in Washington.  Which, actually, leads me back to the futurist, who, it seems, predicted a Trumpian figure many years ago.

It is a multifarious world, but as I am seeing more clearly, a good world at base.  I look forward to being able to present evidence for all this in the future.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Washington Post (Dana Milbank) has offered the following information to let us know what we have been missing while distracted by the Comey/Sessions testimonies.  Certainly, let us not minimize the importance of these hearings.  But let us be aware of the far-rightist agenda of this Republican Congress (with some brave, notable exceptions).

Here is the opening of this recent article from The Post:


Monday was the first anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando that left 49 dead. Saturday will be the second anniversary of the church shooting in Charleston, S.C., where nine were murdered at Bible study.

In between these two somber remembrances, House Republicans will be commemorating the occasion in their own way: They will begin work relaxing restrictions on firearm silencers — thereby making it easier for shooters to shoot without being noticed.
Classy.
To this injury, the legislators add insult with the bill’s name: a provision of the “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act” called the “Hearing Protection Act” — as if it were subsidizing earplugs. That’s like calling legislation that expands the availability of machine guns the “Carpal Tunnel Protection Act” because it spares would-be shooters the repetitive motion of trigger pulling.


N. B  The Musical Patriot accepts no advertising.  However, it is felt that The Washington Post and The New York Times and certainly Newsweek all deserve a certain kind of support just now.   

Friday, June 09, 2017

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

The Proper Perspective

Sitting in the coffee shop on a warm day, drinking iced green tea, gives time for reflection.  Also, having a few days away from newspapers and news media has brought a respite from horror and alleged terror.  Banner headlines of murder and mayhem make it challenging to keep a healthy perspective on a life lived well.

Knowing of the high level of corruption in U.S. elections makes for an interesting perspective, however.  It is a perspective which does contribute to sanity, if one can keep the perspective.  First, it allows one to be confident that the majority of Americans would never have voted for the person who went into the Oval Office in January.  Second, no matter how necessary and useful ever so many left-leaning groups are, we don't need to rely on a construct which has these groups -- splintered and divided as they are -- carrying the water by themselves.

This is to say the truth is bigger and deeper than a multitude of specific issues such as e-mail hacking by foreign governments, or the latest intrigue at the White House.  What a dither and waste of time all this is for a great nation.  It is a circumstance created by the greed system, otherwise known as the profit system.  For the marionettes of mendacity and avarice did conspire to ruin an election.  This can be shown.

Under these circumstances a certain detachment from the rush of news is inevitable -- and welcome.  The battle must be joined, then, at the point of veracity -- the stolen election of 2016.  It is at this nexus that we can meet and figure out how to set things aright.  

Monday, May 29, 2017

There Will Be No Blue Wave in 2018, Says Salon Writer

Article expresses doubt about Democratic prospects in 2018.  Is it (the article) realistic?

Ultimately, you the reader must be the judge.  But the writer makes a persuasive case that Democrats cannot count on a simple wave election in 2018.  And why not?

The reason, says the writer, is that America's problems go deeper than mere electoral politics.

To a large extent I agree with this assessment.  However, the picture -- though dire -- may not be as hopeless as it appears.  Or perhaps more accurately, the problem is not as complex as it appears.

For as readers here know, America did not vote for the Republican far-right the way the media has made it appear.  With nine methods of vote suppression at work, it became impossible for unwitting Democrats to win.

Where, then, does the direction finder point?  It points certainly in the direction of a corporatized media with deep ties to the profit system, a system whose health depends on friendly politicians of both parties.

This time of ours, then, is a moment of opportunity.  For those who have the strength and ingenuity to help create a new vision for America, there is a wonderful chance to create a new framework of justice and economic success for all.


There Will Be No Blue Wave in 2018 Says Salon Writer

Friday, May 26, 2017

Democratic Governors Association Gets It Right

Voter suppression tactics, not Russian hacking, stole the election for Trump

Below is an excerpt from an e-mail I recently received from the Democratic Governors Association.  This group of fine Democratic governors tells the truth about Election 2016.  It is evidence that the so-called resistance to Trump needs to move to states under Democratic control.  

_______________________________________________________________________


Voter suppression helped give Trump the presidency, Friends: 
A new report shows that Wisconsin's voter ID law suppressed MORE THAN 200,000 VOTES, while Trump won by less than 23,000Voter suppression helped Trump take the presidency, and now he's doing everything he can to undermine our democracy.

... And Republicans in Congress are rolling over and letting Trump's corruption go unchecked.

Voter suppression could cost us our democracy if we don't fight back!

Our Voter Protection Project is on the ground fighting to restore voting rights and build a Democratic firewall against Trump's destructive policies....


______________________________________________________________________


The e-mail was part of a fund-raising effort.  








Tuesday, May 23, 2017

What Is the Plastisphere?

All-ages video

Whatever it is, it does not sound good.

Find out more here.





T his video shows in clear terms the dangers of our plasticized world.  The facts here show why concern for the environment can't wait.

N.B.  I don't know anything about the contest mentioned at the end or the organization.  But the video is high quality and speaks well for those who made it.  

Monday, May 22, 2017

Brief Statement About the Russian Investigation

As longer-term readers here will already know, as odious as any foreign intrusion into our election system would be, it bears repeating now that neither Russia nor any other country "hacked into" last November's election.  While I agree that Russia did try to influence the election, ultimately their efforts fell short, as Hillary Clinton won around two million or so more votes than did Our Military Leader (OML).

What did happen was a huge Republican effort to suppress votes wherever they could.  This effort has been detailed most extensively by Greg Palast, well-respected international investigative journalist.   This suppression of the vote was large enough to affect the outcome in several states so as to make it appear OML won the Electoral College.   I believe history will show he won neither the popular vote nor the Electoral College.  (Link to the Greg Palast site appears to the right on this blog.)

Recently, the Democratic Governors Association sent an e-mail referencing this vote suppression activity on the part of the Republicans.  This was good to see, for it means our leaders are beginning to wake up to the fact that this was not a legitimate vote.  


Photo Courtesy < Ushanka.net >.    Ushanka




Thursday, May 18, 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

OML and Dementia

Allegations that Our Military Leader (whom I have identified as "OML") has dementia have been around for awhile now.  This is not a subject I have seen the need to report on here -- until now.

Like the author of the article highlighted below, I have had close relatives who progress through the stages of dementia.  I have also seen the symptoms in co-workers.

While OML clearly has personality and character issues, even more important could be dementia.  Certainly, the matter is not proven.  But the article referenced gives a good opening to the subject.

I will continue researching the matter. 


Dementia at the Top

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Trump White House Said to Be in "Crisis Mode," Senate Scrambles to Interview Deputy Attorney General

Quickly

Fast-developing Events in Washington, D. C.,  Today


For those interested in the morning's activities, it was a busy start to the day.

The Hill has a good summation of the day so far.


Latest On the Situation in Washington

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

What We Face Is a Constitutional Crisis: Sen Blumenthal

via CBSN

Says there must be a special prosecutor.

New York Times Is Reporting Sessions Was Tasked With Making Comey Case

...according to CBSN


This would create "a cause and effect," says CBSN analyst, Zeke Miller.

The word impeachment is being raised.

The question is What is the alternative to impeachment?  If the OML (Our Military Leader) will not resign, what other action could be taken?

Remember, it is CBSN who has raised the issue of impeachment.

We do not yet know whether normal American governmental processes are viable at this time.  It is going to be up to responsible Republicans to lead us out of this -- if the government is to retain any credibility at all.   CBSN is indeed mentioning Republicans now raising questions about the Comey firing.





Legitimacy of Trump Questioned By CBSN

A CBSN commentator is saying the firing of FBI Director Comey, especially at this time, raises questions of the President's "legitimacy."

Questioning the actual legitimacy of this President has been exceedingly rare in the major media these last weeks.

It has been my question for months, as readers here well know.

The major media is welcomed into the fold of Questioners.    

Barrage of Criticism Over Firing of Comey

CBS News is reporting they have received a "blizzard" of comments regarding the firing of Comey.

Analyst, Jeff Pegues, says these comments will continue to mount.


Sen. Schumer Says American People Will "Absolutely" Suspect Cover-up

Live now on CBSN:

Schumer says a special prosecutor is the only way to proceed now regarding the Trump-Russia investigation.

He further says Comey should have been fired months ago, if the Trump administration was concerned about Comey's behavior in the Clinton e-mail matter.

Comey Firing Raises a Key Question

The letter of Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein certainly lays out a cogent case for his recommendation that FBI Director Comey be fired.

Our Military Leader's (OML's) letter announcing the firing, however, specifically makes the point that OML is not under investigation.  This hints at the thinking of OML.

Again, I ask:  What is the story behind the story on this fateful Tuesday?

Is the Comey Firing a Political "Assassination?"

Daggers in the night, pistols in the daylight.  Such images from murder mysteries of old come to mind as news of the firing of the FBI Director ricochets around the world.

Mr. Comey certainly can be criticized for the way he handled the Clinton e-mails only days before last November's election.  (Of at least equal culpability, however, were the press and media.)

But Mr. Comey was also making headlines for revealing that an investigation of possible ties between the Russian government and the Trump campaign was underway.

It is said Comey is being fired for making misstatements at a Congressional hearing last week.  To be fair, we must first evaluate this allegation.

But the leaving of James Comey would appear to cast a cloud over the Trump-Russia investigation.    

Blogging the Firing of FBI Director Comey

The dismissal of FBI Director Comey immediately raises the question of whether there is a story behind the story.  With this illegitimate and highly inept administration, almost anything is possible.

Good or bad, let the truth come out.

Breaking News: FBI Director Fired

CNN and other outlets are reporting that Our Military Leader has dismissed FBI Director Comey.

More coming here shortly.  

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Macron Elected President of France

Emmanuel Macron has been elected President of France by an overwhelming margin.  TMP congratulates Mssr. Macron in this important win.

France now shows the way to a non
-Fascist future.

via tablet computer

Friday, May 05, 2017

Important developments in Trump-Russia Investigation

Comey admits FBI coordinating with office of U.S. Attorney in Eastern Virginia


Via Patriot in Exigency --

Just Out Today: Olbermann Report via You Tube on Reports of the Existence of a Grand Jury Inquiry Into Trump-Russia Ties

Information the major media is not reporting on:

Thursday, May 04, 2017

How the Obamacare Repeal Could Go Wrong -- Very Wrong -- for GOP

As Republicans crow and play music as if the House were a movie, the current Obamacare program grows more and more popular with the American people.

When will we have government of the people?


How Obamacare Repeal Could Go Very Wrong for GOP

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Millions Worldwide March for Workers' Rights

Workers around the world rallied for their rights yesterday, as millions took to the streets everywhere from the U.S. to Europe to south Asia and Taiwan.

Despite a declaration by Our Military Leader attempting to co-opt May Day with a loyalty day (to him?), Americans rallied from California to New York, demanding higher wages and equal pay for equal work.  Even the mainstream media reported on the enthusiastic demonstrators.

The article at the hyperlink below has copious pictures from around the world.

It was a day of excitement and hope mixed with fear, as people continued to grapple with injustice almost everywhere around the globe.

The Musical Patriot would like to concentrate on hope.  You are cordially invited to return here in coming weeks and months as this world-wide drama for justice plays out.


Millions Rally for Workers' Rights Worldwide


Image Courtesy World Federation of Trade Unions

Featured Post

Bill Clinton Warns on Rising Nationalism

Rush Link -- Bill Clinton on Rise of Nationalism